Broccoli is a human food that is safe for dogs to eat. But, is broccoli good for dogs? This low-fat snack contains healthy sources of fiber and Vitamin C. However, the extra nutrients are not required or balanced enough to offer any substantial benefit, and there are unpleasant side-effects!
How much broccoli can dogs have?
As with most vegetable and fruit treats that pet parents love to share, dogs can have broccoli in moderation. These crunchy, raw or steamed and soft cruciferous vegetables should only be an occasional indulgence though.
If you plan to give your dog broccoli, it should be included in the 10% treat limit per day of a dog’s total food intake. Most veterinarians will agree that broccoli is ok for dogs, but it provides no additional nutrition.
The best way to show your canine family member how much you love him is to feed him balanced, nutrient-dense dog food that includes all the essential minerals and vitamins a dog’s body needs to stay healthy, strong and energetic.
Broccoli for dogs: Do’s and Don’ts
- Do serve boiled or steamed broccoli only to soften the hard stalk or stem as this can be choking hazard.
- Don’t feed broccoli as an additional snack over the 10% limit of total treat intake per day.
- Do cut broccoli into small pieces to avoid any gastrointestinal obstructions.
- Don’t give large, raw pieces as these are highly fibrous and can cause a digestive blockage.
- Don’t feed broccoli excessively, it can lead to gastric upset causing diarrhea in your dog. Limit to a few times per month.
- Don’t give your puppy broccoli, it’s hard for their developing digestive system to process the high fiber.
- Do favor a soft broccoli stalk over the head, which contains isothiocyanate, compounds that can irritate the GI tract.
- Do get veterinarian recommendations before trying new human fruits and vegetables on your dog.
- Do puree broccoli, making it easier for dogs to digest.
Is broccoli bad for dogs?
When it comes to human foods that are safe to share with pets, can dogs eat broccoli is something many pet parents ask? Let’s get down to basics: broccoli is not bad for dogs.
The trick is to never comprise a dog’s total daily consumption of more than 25% of this cruciferous vegetable as it can cause some unpleasant side-effects. Over-consumption can also be toxic due to the high volume of isothiocyanate in the broccoli head.
While isothiocyanates are good for humans and cause no harm regardless of how much broccoli you eat, it’s not the same for dogs.
Dogs and broccoli: Risks
As with any people foods that dogs eat, there is a risk of irritation, obstruction, allergic reaction or toxicosis. Broccoli toxicity may occur if your dog’s daily intake of food is made up of more than 25% of this cruciferous vegetable in one day.
While these types of cases of intolerance are rare, pet parents should always exercise caution when feeding a dog any human food that is not part of their regular, healthy, balanced dog food diet.
Excessive servings of broccoli for dogs can cause:
- Diarrhea or constipation associated with overconsumption
- Vomiting due to digestive blockage
- Loss of appetite from gastrointestinal obstruction
- Pain related to GI upset
- Obstruction in the throat
- Hemolytic anemia, an autoimmune reaction to overconsumption in severe and worst-case scenarios.
Is broccoli ok for dogs?
Many veterinarians will recommend people foods for dogs, sparingly, as is the case with whether dogs can eat broccoli. The best advice is to limit this vegetable as an occasional treat, and if you plan to share it, keep an eye on your dog while he eats it. Should you notice any change in behavior, call your veterinarian immediately.
Learn more about caring for your dog